TRADE UNION LEADERSHIP DEVELOPMENT ACADEMY – TULDA
The ITUC-Africa Trade Union Leadership Development Academy – TULDA
Theme: Fostering Working Class Consciousness for transformative change
Duration: 2 weeks
Format : Online & Residential (Lome-Togo)
Trade unions are organisations that grew out of workers’ struggles on the shop floor. They have thus emerged as the most organised actors in societies dedicated to represent, protect and defend, as well as advance the collective social and economic interests of workers, members of their families and communities. Historically, education has been central to trade union organising, mobilisation and action in Africa. Mass-based ideology focused education and the popular consciousness it raised contributed to workers’ struggles for decolonization of the continent. Thereafter, African working -class education gained sharper and more direct focus in the early post-independence era, based mainly on the need to consolidate and advance the gains of decolonisation and to wade off cold war aggression.
For Africa, the 1980s brought about aggressive neoliberal insertion, ascendancy and prescriptions on the continent. African trade unions were forced to contend against neo-liberal orthodoxies and prescriptions such as commercialisation, privatisation, liberalisation and deregulation. These prescriptions led to massive loss of formal jobs; stagnated wages; change in employment relationship leading to the casualization of labour, contract employment and outsourcing. There was also a spike in inflation across the continent leading to the fall in workers and households’ purchasing power.
The relevance of workers’ education was evident in the struggles that organised labour waged against the neoliberal onslaughts, including the struggle to reclaim constitutional democracy and to strive for popular participatory democracy. Further, the new millennium brought with it the acceleration and intensification of technological advances -innovation, invention and digitalisation that continues to change the nature of the world of work and exacerbate threats to job security. The challenge of demography, climate change on account of uncontrolled and harmful human activities on the environment and their effects on jobs, living and wellbeing remain daunting ones that spell the imperative for acting consciously in an organised manner to protect livelihoods and achieve sustainable development.
To effectively counter these nagging challenges and meet the need to build a virile, responsive and enduring workers’ organisations, and continue to be relevant and recognised as alternative voices and sources in the quest for the attainment of social justice it is critical and necessary that trade unions commit to and uphold the value of education. This is more so as the notion of education as a key instrument for effecting positive and shared changes in workplaces, communities and economies and a fulcrum for the organisation of social justice is a widely shared one.
In the meantime, ideology based and focused labour education content initiatives and programmes have dwindled and are fading away at the same time as labour education continues to be recognised by trade unions as a veritable tool for trade union revitalisation and reinvigoration. This contributes to a less conscious working-class constituency and membership base. The effects of this can be seen in weak organising and mobilisation capacities and outcomes. Trade unions have to take conscious and urgent actions to change these realities if the African trade union movement will stand any chance at preventing her collapse and implosion.
To build and strengthen a regional cadre of trade unionists who can promote and defend the rights and interests of the African working class and who are able to aptly proffer workable alternatives to the current neo-liberal agenda.
The following 5 modules shall be covered during the training:
- Module 1: African Labour Movement: History of Trade Unions and Popular Struggles
- Module 2: The African Political Economy
- Module 3: Contemporary and Emerging Issues
- Module 4: Sustainable Trade Union Movement Building
- Module 5: International Labour Organisation – ILO
EXPECTED LEARNING OUTCOMES
- Emergence of an African trade union cadre with a strong working-class ideological lineage;
- Change-driven actions indicating firm understanding of regional and global political and economic dynamics and processes and their impact on the African working-class ;
- Increased action-focused and change-inducing working-class solidarity and actions ;
- Increased abilities and capacities to relate and apply the learning acquired to the local context.
- Applied learning plan at organisation level
A multiplicity of learning methods will be employed, blending theory and practice. These shall include lectures, group discussions and other activities aimed at testing the participant’s mastery of the subjects learned.
The working languages will be English and French with simultaneous translation.
The cost of passport, vaccinations or inoculations and health documents, and the consular dues for the Togolese visa will NOT be reimbursable. Also, airport taxes and domestic travel expenses (such as costs incurred from the town of residence to the international airport of departure) can NOT be reimbursed.
Participants shall be provided breakfast and lunch as well as a dinner allowance.
VENUE, DURATION AND STARTING DATE
As a blended course (online and face-to-face) this is expected to take place for a duration of 2 weeks .
- The online courses will last for 1 week
- The Face to face one is also for 1 week at the ITUC-Africa Headquarters Training Centre, Lome, Togo
- Trade unions officials, leaders, activists and workers/trade union members including Youth and Women
Interested candidates while completing the attached application form, have to meet the following criterias:
- Proven engagement in trade union
- Maximum 50 years
- Fluency in French or English
- Internet access and digital literacy
Important to note:
Submission of application does not mean automatic selection. There shall be a selection process to ensure that all successful candidates have met all the minimum requirements as outlined above.
Deadline for applications:
Please submit the application form duly filled with your CV and a nomination letter from the union leadership on or before (2 weeks before the program starts) to:
Route Internationale d’Atakpamé, Centre FOPADESC, Agoè-Zongo, B.P: 4401, Lome-Togo.
Tel: +228 22 25 07 10 – Fax :+228 22 25 61 13.